Transpositions: Text and reality

Yoav Rosenthal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The final passage of B. Ketubbot discusses the question of living and burial in the Land of Israel or Babylonia. This essay examines one unit within that passage featuring a debate between Rav Yehudah and R. Zeira regarding migration from Babylonia to the Land of Israel. The unit appears in two different locations in textual witnesses to the Talmud. Its migration and the particular points where it was incorporated suggest that its true place is as a satellite passage alongside the main one. This recognition correlates with other observations arising from an examination of the unit and its relationship to other parts of the passage and parallel sources, leading to the conclusion that though the main text discusses migration from Babylonia to the Land of Israel, this unit apparently has a different agenda: to legitimize the very existence of a Jewish center in Babylonia.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)333-373
Number of pages41
JournalAJS Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Association for Jewish Studies 2017.


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